For Sheri Daye, organizer of the annual Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo, the convention’s tenth anniversary saw its largest one yet.
This year’s Expo exceeded 65,000 square feet, hosted 160 exhibitors — including DeeperBlue.com — and had upwards of 5,000 attendees. Highlights included seminars and exhibits on freediving, scuba, spearfishing, fishing, marine art, underwater photography and videography, paddle boarding, adventure travel, and more. There was even a “Kids Zone” offering face painting, art classes and crab races.
In a brief chat on the second day of the Expo, Daye said:
“Each year, we do grow and get more and more variety. The nice thing is we keep getting the same energy, the same good vibe, and I think that’s one of the things I love about the show is the type of people that we get; it’s a good, enthusiastic, energetic crowd.”
Daye said feedback from the exhibitors was good.
“They’re having good sales and they’ve told me that they’re happy with Saturday and now it’s a rainy Sunday so maybe we’ll also have a good Sunday.”
The pool area that’s been at previous Blue Wilds had to make room for the increase in exhibitors.
“I sold out, if that’s any indicator. We do have more exhibitors and more variety, a lot of new products, and new companies that joined us this year, so that’s pretty exciting.”
As for the outlook for next year:
“I am gonna come back here next year, we’ve set the date already, for the weekend previous, which is April 14-15  I believe. And i already have some exhibitors that are wanting to pick their space. . . . I like expanding the type of exhibitors, so I’m gonna keep trying to bring new products, new companies, maybe even some fishing and hunting, other areas just to make more excitement.”
Given how the main convention room the Expo was in was already bursting at the seams, Daye said for next year:
“It is tough but I think we can do one more year, judging from the growth, it’s a steady growth but I think . . . that’s an air wall, so I think I can get another hall, so I have some growing room.”
To check out DeeperBlue.com’s Blue Wild Expo coverage, click here.